A few days ago, I received an interesting comment from another blogger about her experiences in marriage. This blogger said that her biggest realization in marriage is that people do change.
Surprised by this statement? Probably not. After all, we all know that we change as we grow older. While we have a certain core that defines us by the time we hit adulthood, we are still constantly learning, growing and evolving in adulthood. Life experiences such as university, career, children, travel, illness and death affect and shape us in some form or another. In other words, we don’t stop growing mentally and emotionally….and most of us our okay with that fact!
So, why is it so hard sometimes to accept that our spouse will change too as they grow older?
I think part of the reason for this difficulty may be because we don’t actually know how our spouse will change down the road, and that is scary! (While we also don’t know how we ourselves might change over the years, it pales in comparison to not knowing who the person we are married to will become.) After all, we spent so much time getting to know our spouse and agreeing to marry them for who they are now, that having them morph into a completely different person can be disconcerting! Can you imagine a bride or groom saying, I am marrying you even though I realize that twenty years from now you may be a totally different person from the one standing in front of me now!
One of the hardest things I had to grasp when getting married, is that while I am marrying my husband for the man he is today, he may turn into a different man down the road. This doesn’t mean that he is going to turn into a monster down the road, nor does it imply that he is going to turn into a saint. It just suggests that he will change! Which direction the change will go is unknown at the time. Of course, the same applied to me too. I knew I was going to change, but it didn’t scare me because I knew I could handle myself! But I wondered if my husband feared the same about me? So I asked him.
Me: Aren’t you worried that I will change into someone completely different down the road? Him: I know you will change. Me: And, you’re okay with that?? Him: Yeah. I want to see what the future has in store for us, and how it is going to change the both of us. It’s exciting, don’t you think? Me: I’m not sure…ask me that question 10 years from now!
The point is that you’ll never really know for sure what is going to happen in the future. (Ten years from now, I won’t know what my husband will be like another ten years later!!) So maybe instead of fearing the unknown (which I tend to–it’s a character flaw, I know!), I should embrace it the way my husband does. Change in marriage is inevitable. I don’t know what the future has in store for us. I don’t know how I will change down the road. I definitely have no clue how my husband will change down the road, but I trust that I married a good, kind-hearted, decent man, who will not deviate too far from his core in the future. 🙂